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I need to make a few images for an arcade video game I'm making in Java. As of right now, I have drawings that animate, but there are two problems.

  1. The drawings are horrible, and as a result, the game won't get enough attention.
  2. It's a pain to have to change each coordinate for the drawing, as the drawings are fairly complex.

I'd like to use images. I feel they could solve my problem. They would look better than the drawings, and it would only have an x and a y coordinate, rather than the many coordinates I need for each drawing. So, in a sense, I have two questions.

  1. Would images actually help? Would they solve my 2 problems? I just want to clarify.
  2. How would I make these images. I don't think I can copy them off of the internet because I plan on publishing this game. So, is there any software where you can make your own images? (It has to be in an image type that Java can support. I'm working with java).

It also, as stated by the header, needs to be a 2D image; not 3D

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To you, what's the difference between a drawing and an image? –  Steve Evers Jun 29 '12 at 17:09
    
The drawings I use are pretty much straight lines and curves with no color. I need something with color and better graphics than the graphics java supports. –  kullalok Jun 29 '12 at 17:10
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check out gamedev.stackexchange.com they have lots of answers to your questions. –  Ryathal Jun 29 '12 at 17:11
    
under their FAQ, I can't ask questions about resources and technologies I can use. Otherwise, yeah I would use that. haha –  kullalok Jun 29 '12 at 17:12
    
I think that applies to generic questions of what platform/framework rather than this. This should be on topic... though I urge you to flesh out your question better. –  Chad Jun 29 '12 at 17:19
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2 Answers

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I think the technique you are looking for is called "sprite animation".

The idea is you have pre-rendered images of the object you want to animate and your program very quickly changes which image of the set is displayed. Think about a film strip of a person walking - each cell has them in a slightly different pose. When you project these images onto a screen, and then run the film through the projector very fast it makes it look like there is a person walking on the screen.

It sounds like what you were doing up to now was animated vector graphics - your images wasn't stored as bitmaps, it was coordinates for geometric shapes. I think this is how some Flash games work, though I'm not certain how much is vector graphics and how much is raster (bitmap) graphics.

As far as how to create the images, well you will need some art skills. You can hand-draw every possible animation pose and then scan them into your computer. You could draw them directly to your computer with a drawing tablet. You could draw them in Photoshop, Illustrator, or even MS Paint (I've seen some very cool sprites created in Paint). You could build a 3D model and then render different poses/positions to different images.

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For creating images, have you considered MS Paint?

For displaying images, have you considered loading them as textures?

There's nothing else to say really, without knowing what frameworks you're using.

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